Release Date: April 1, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction
Book Description: In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz. Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy. Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?
Wanda's Thoughts - 1944 - World War II was in full swing. Hadassah Benjamin, half Jew, had ceased to exist. She was now Stella Muller, an Austrian bookkeeper. Stella was told her beauty would save her, her blonde hair and blue eyes being rare to her people. She'd spent months in Dachau, living in quarters unfit for livestock and her dignity was stripped bare. The Nazis used hunger as a weapon, making the weak fall victim to disease and death.
Colonel Aric von Schmidt, an SS Kommandant, bends the rules and removes Stella from Dachau and takes her to Theresienstadt. Stella had clerical skills and she was to become Herr Kommandant's secretary, but what were his real motives? He was the enemy, a Jew Killer, but he'd shown Stella kindness and concern. Stella totally captivates the Herr Kommandant and they soon become drawn to each other. A forbidden love evolves that is wrapped in survival and tragedy --- and the story unfolds.
Theresienstadt was to be Stella's new home and her safety depended on Herr Kommandant. Behind Theresienstadt's facade lay dirty, straw filled stalls crammed with Jews who were suffering from hunger and dysentery. There was no hope for them. Unlike Stella, they would not be rescued, but put on cattle cars, a death train, and transported to Auschwitz, a place where Jews never returned, and Krematorium fires burned day and night.
This is a powerful and intense book filled with anger, grief, and humiliation. An absolute must read that will evoke many emotions - a story about the Holocaust. Simply one of the best books I've read on this horrible period of history. My rating is 5 stars.
From the book - The Moorexpress had reached the Krematorium. A loud wail echoed from inside the ovens - a child's cry of terror.
I received an advanced reading copy from LibraryThing through Bethany House to read and review. All opinions shared are solely my responsibility.
The Author - Kate Breslin - A Florida girl and former bookseller, Kate Breslin migrated to the Pacific Northwest where she lives with her husband and a spoiled cat named Coco. Kate has written travel articles, published award-winning poetry, and was a finalist in RWA's Golden Heart Contest. FOR SUCH A TIME is her debut novel; now that she's writing inspirational romance, Kate enjoys creating stories showing how God's love brings two hearts together. When she's not plotting the next novel, Kate can be found with her nose in a book, or enjoying a long walk in one of Washington's beautiful forests. She also likes to do a bit of traveling to new places--great for finding the next story idea! She'd love to hear from you, so please stop by and say hello at www.katebreslin.com.